Design by Jess Murphy

Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is commonly associated with children, but more than 10 million adults in the United States also live with the condition, according to the National Institute of Mental Health.

Adult ADHD can cause problems with executive function. This means people with the condition may have a hard time initiating tasks, following through, remembering things, or managing complexity.

Many people have found success in delegating important memory and productivity tasks to their mobile devices. Apps are available to help you organize, prioritize, and build structure into your life.

We’ve rounded up the best apps for ADHD to reduce overwhelm and increase productivity, so you can get the most out of your day.

ADHD is a neurodevelopmental disorder that affects children and may continue into adulthood. People with ADHD may have trouble focusing their attention and controlling impulsive behaviors. They may be hyperactive or inattentive, and their symptoms can change over time.

There are three types of ADHD, depending on symptoms:

  • Predominantly inattentive. Someone may be easily distracted or have difficulty organizing tasks, paying attention to details, or following instructions. They may forget or lose things.
  • Predominantly hyperactive-impulsive. The person fidgets, can’t stay still, feels restless, and may be impulsive. They may talk a lot, and have frequent accidents and injuries.
  • Combined. Someone may have both inattentive and hyperactive of symptoms.

Learn about types of ADHD and symptoms in both children and adults.

When choosing the best ADHD apps, we considered each app’s features, ease of use, and availability for iPhone and Android devices.

We also scanned dozens of customer reviews to ensure people really found them valuable, and of course, we made sure users were getting the most bang for their buck.

Pricing guide

  • $ = under $0.99
  • $$ = $0.99—$5
  • $$$ = over $5

A note on ADHD apps

Although ADHD apps can be helpful for getting work, chores, and to-dos done on a daily basis, they can’t replace help from a mental health professional or taking medication.

Best overall

SimpleMind Pro – Mind Mapping

  • Who it’s best for: people who want to organize their thoughts and ideas
  • iOS rating: 4.7 stars
  • Android rating: 4.7 stars
  • Price: $$$

Have you ever longed for a map of your mind so you could remember when, where, or why you came up with an idea, or what you had to finish today?

Well, that’s what this app is all about: SimpleMind Pro allows you to develop a complex map of your thoughts, ideas, and to-do lists.

The app also lets you upload media like documents and voice memos to go along with your information, create logical branches of related ideas and topics, and (perhaps most importantly for folks with ADHD) be able to retrace your train of thought.

Pros

  • one-time fee
  • helps organize thoughts and ideas
  • slideshows and free form layouts

Cons

  • no organic mind mapping option

Best for setting reminders

Due – Reminders & Timers

  • Who it’s best for: those who are easily distracted and need help remembering important tasks
  • iOS rating: 4.7 stars
  • Android: not available
  • Price: $$$

Distractibility plays a big part in ADHD, but Due can set you back on track with reminders to do the important things.

You can increase your productivity by scheduling must-dos, such as taking medication. Adding a reminder is easy, and the app design is clean and sleek. When a reminder goes off, it continues to ping you in set intervals (say, every 10 minutes) until you mark the task as done.

Pros

  • auto-snooze option that sends reminders until you mark task as complete
  • uncomplicated, user-friendly interface
  • can add widget to your phone’s home screen

Cons

  • extra features require additional purchases
  • not available on Android

Best for taking and organizing notes

Evernote

  • Who it’s best for: the avid notetaker
  • iOS rating: 4.2 stars
  • Android rating: 4.1 stars
  • Price: free with in-app purchases

Think of Evernote as your modern-day Trapper Keeper. Type in to-dos, add reminders, scan handwritten notes, take pictures to remind yourself of a task, and save websites and videos.

A search function makes finding everything you’ve saved a breeze. So even if you’re not the best at organizing your folders, Evernote can help you find what you need when you need it.

Evernote is a great choice to jot down those stray thoughts to pursue later, so you can stay on task now.

Pros

  • search function to easily find notes
  • can add pictures and screenshots to notes
  • templates and option to voice record

Cons

  • Advanced features require in-app purchases.

Best for reducing overwhelm

Remember the Milk

  • Who it’s best for: anyone who feels overwhelmed by everything they have do
  • iOS rating: 4.7 stars
  • Android rating: 4.5 stars
  • Price: free with in-app purchases

Sometimes even the simplest tasks have multiple steps. With Remember the Milk, you can increase your chances of getting them done (and increase that feeling of accomplishment) by creating task lists with their own subtasks.

Assign due dates to each and add notes that lend helpful information, such as locations, passwords, details, messages, or addresses that you need to complete the tasks.

The app can remind you of upcoming due dates with your choice of mobile notifications, emails, or texts.

The app’s map feature is a game changer for running errands, too — it plots your tasks, so you can plan the most efficient route for checking items off your list.

Pros

  • can create task sublists
  • can add due dates and notes to tasks
  • has a map feature that provides the most efficient route for multiple tasks

Cons

  • Sound reminders come at an additional cost.
  • Some reviewers say app regularly crashes.

Best for collaboration

Asana

  • Who it’s best for: teams and anyone who needs to collaborate on tasks with others
  • iOS rating: 4.7 stars
  • Android rating: 4.3 stars
  • Price: free

Asana is a free organization and collaboration tool. You can use it to create to-do lists and add due dates and details.

Asana is great for adding structure to your professional life, too, as it allows for team collaboration: assign tasks to others, view tasks in project boards, and keep tabs on what’s been assigned to you and others.

When you’ve assigned out a task, it remains visible, meaning you won’t lose track of or duplicate tasks.

Pros

  • allows for team collaboration
  • can assign tasks to others and monitor with notifications
  • can add other people to your to-do lists and tasks

Cons

  • The app version is not very user-friendly.

Best for managing your to-do lists

Todoist

  • Who it’s best for: anyone who has trouble getting through their to-do lists
  • iOS rating: 4.8 stars
  • Android rating: 4.5 stars
  • Price: free with in-app purchases

With Todoist, you can get things out of your head and onto a list that stays with you, pings you, and motivates you to be productive.

With the quick-add feature, just type in a task, reminder time, and hashtagged list category, and the app takes care of all the organization.

You can also set recurring reminders, so you can spend less time working in the app and more time getting stuff done.

Track your productivity with the Todoist progress summary, which clearly displays how many tasks you’ve completed and how many are waiting for your attention.

Pros

  • The app organizes lists for you.
  • You can set reminders so you don’t have to manually check app.
  • Adding tasks is quick and uncomplicated.

Cons

  • Advanced features require in-app purchases.

Best for Pomodoro

Brain Focus

  • Who it’s best for: those who have trouble putting their phones down
  • iOS: not available
  • Android rating: 4.7 stars
  • Price: free with in-app purchases

This time management app keeps you from using your phone as a distraction. Brain Focus blocks apps and quiets your notifications, so phone distractions are not an option when you need to focus.

The app uses the Pomodoro method of setting time on-task and time off-task.

You can use it when you need to focus, and the app will count down your selected time while locking you out of the apps you’ve selected as distracting.

Brain Focus also uses your countdowns to track how long you’ve spent working in self-selected categories, such as work, school, chores, reading, meditation, or whatever you’ve decided suits your needs best.

Pros

  • locks you out of apps that serve as distractions
  • tracks productivity in different areas
  • uses a proven time management technique

Cons

  • not available on iOS
  • Advanced features require in-app purchases.

Best for project tracking

Trello

  • Who it’s best for: anyone who needs to track projects and tasks, solo or with a team
  • iOS rating: 4.5 stars
  • Android rating: 4.3 stars
  • Price: free with in-app purchases

Trello began as a tool for project managers, product managers, and software developers.

But the app’s incredibly intuitive organization interface makes it useful as a planning and organization tool for almost anything — whether it’s grocery lists, planned to-do lists, or even just organizing your thoughts.

Use checklists, project folders, and more, as well as share your app information with other users.

Pros

  • versatile and flexible for many uses
  • can be used to collaborate with others
  • can create multiple boards

Cons

  • Advanced organizational features require subscription fees.
  • no ability to sort tasks by due date

Best for simplicity

Clear Todos

  • Who it’s best for: those who prefer a simple app with a minimalistic design
  • iOS rating: 4.5 stars
  • Android rating: 4.7 stars
  • Price: $$

When you have a lot to do or a lot on your mind, it can feel overwhelming without an end seemingly in sight.

Clear Todos helps break down the things you have to do into clear-cut, digestible, color-coded, and organized lists, so you don’t have a mountain of sticky notes or scribbled reminders all over your desk, your bed, and your life.

Pros

  • color coding for more visual appeal
  • simple without extraneous, confusing features
  • allows you to create subtasks

Cons

  • no widget option
  • Android version requires in-app purchases for upgraded features.
  • no option to share lists with other users

Best for security

Bear

  • Who it’s best for: those who want to put information behind a password
  • iOS rating: 4.7 stars
  • Android: not available
  • Price: free with in-app purchases

Writing down what you have to do or what’s going on in your head shouldn’t feel like a chore. Bear gives you a simple, visually appealing interface to jot down your thoughts or keep your to-do lists organized. It encrypts them with simple password protection.

You can also tag your notes so that you can easily keep all your related thoughts in one place, even if you write them down at different times or in different forms.

Pros

  • The hashtagging system makes it easy to organize and file notes.
  • can be used on Apple Watch
  • visually appealing interface

Cons

  • not available on Android
  • requires in-app purchases for advanced features
  • no way to collaborate with others

Best for productivity

Productive – Habit Tracker

  • Who it’s best for: anyone who wants to start new, productive habits
  • iOS rating: 4.6 stars
  • Android rating: 4.0 stars
  • Price: free with in-app purchases

The more you have to do, the less it can feel like an accomplishment to get things done.

Productive – Habit Tracker lets you develop a personalized routine that you want to follow, and acknowledges when you follow your predetermined tasks or meet a daily goal for many days in a row.

You can schedule tasks that are as big or as small as you want, so you can plan out your day to accomplish both what you have to do and what you want to do.

Pros

  • helps with building a routine
  • can break tasks up into subtasks
  • awards you for habit “streaks”

Cons

  • App is free to download but very limited without subscription.
  • Some users think it’s too basic.

AppPriceAvailable devicesBest for
SimpleMind Pro – Mapping$$$iOS and Android
people who want to organize their thoughts and ideas
Due – Reminders & Timers$$$iOS
those are are easily distracted and need help remembering important tasks
Evernote
free with in-app purchases
iOS and Android
the avid notetaker
Remember the Milkfree with in-app purchasesiOS and Android
anyone who feels overwhelmed by everything they have do; people with a lot of tasks/errands
AsanafreeiOS and Android
teams and anyone who needs to collaborate on tasks with others
Todoistfree with in-app purchasesiOS and Android
anyone who has trouble getting through their to-do lists
Brain Focusfree with in-app purchasesAndroid
those who have trouble putting their phones down; people who could use help with time management skills
Trellofree with in-app purchasesiOS and Android
anyone who needs to track projects and tasks, solo or with a team
Clear Todos
$$
iOS and Android
those who prefer a simple app with a minimalistic design
Bearfree with in-app purchasesiOS
those who want to put information behind a password
Productive – Habit Trackerfree with in-app purchasesiOS and Android
anyone who wants to start new, productive habits

There are three types of ADHD, and everyone is unique, so there are different ways that symptoms can manifest. Because of this, there’s no single app that’s going to work best for everyone.

When picking the best ADHD app for your needs and lifestyle, there are several things to consider:

  • Pricing. Make sure the app fits within your budget. Some apps have one upfront cost, while others operate on a subscription basis. Others are free to download and offer limited features but require in-app purchases to access advanced features. Decide what you’re willing to spend and narrow things down from there.
  • Ease of use. ADHD apps are meant to make your life easier, so you want to make sure they’re easy to use and don’t actually add more work to your day. Check the interface of the app (there’s usually a preview before you download it) and read through the list of the features. It’s also a good idea to peruse user reviews to see what others thought of the app’s functionality.
  • Specific concerns. Some ADHD apps allow you to create to-do lists, while others help you streamline thoughts into notes or a brain map. There are single-user apps and apps that allow you to directly collaborate with others. Figure out your main concerns — what you need help with or hope to improve — and then choose an app based on that specific use case.
  • Available devices. While many apps are available on both Android and Apple devices, others are only downloadable on one or the other. Make sure the app is compatible with your device before committing to it.

Apps can be a great way to get organized, stay on task, and put all your thoughts in one place. But they’re not a substitute for seeing a mental health professional or taking the medication you need.

If ADHD symptoms are interfering with your quality of life or you’re already on medication, but it doesn’t seem to be working as effectively as it used to, you should check in with a doctor. They can guide you toward the right treatment and tools to help you manage.

Some common symptoms of ADHD include:

  • being unable to sit still
  • constantly fidgeting
  • having a hard time focusing on tasks
  • excessive physical movement or talking
  • acting without thinking
  • interrupting conversations

How can organization apps help with ADHD?

ADHD apps are a great way to keep track of activities and prevent overwhelm. They can help people with ADHD in various ways.

Firstly, they can help structure your thoughts into easy-to-read lists. Then, you can prioritize tasks and set reminders, so you don’t need to worry about missing dates or essential things to do.

Second, organization apps can track your progress toward goals and remind you about what you need to do next to complete tasks.

And finally, you can use an app as motivation when you want to stay on top of things and need a little pep talk to keep you productive.

What are the treatment options for ADHD?

The first line of treatment for young children with ADHD is usually parent training in behavior management before doctors try medication. This involves teaching parents skills and strategies to manage and reduce their child’s disruptive behaviors.

With children older than 6 years, doctors may try a combination of medication and behavior therapy.

Medications can help adults and children manage ADHD symptoms. They help balance brain chemicals, so people can better control their impulses and actions. There are two types of medications:

  • Fast-acting stimulants. There are many options, including amphetamines like Adderall or methylphenidate (Ritalin).
  • Nonstimulants. These are slower to act but with a longer-acting effect.

What are some coping skills for ADHD?

ADHD apps can help you organize your life, but there are other ways to cope with symptoms. Here are some tips:

  • Exercise daily. Exercise helps with focus and attention, and you can burn off any excess energy. Plus, it helps ease anxiety and depression.
  • Find time to de-stress. Take time, especially to de-stress and unwind. It’s OK to take downtime and allow yourself some headspace to gather your thoughts.
  • Create systems. Learn how to prioritize and plan. That way, even if you get distracted, you’ve got the essential things out of the way early on.
  • Break down tasks into steps. It’s easy to feel overwhelmed with large projects and procrastinate. So, break everything into steps. Do things in smaller blocks and tick them off as you go.
  • Learn about ADHD and find support. Even reading about other people’s experiences living with ADHD can help you feel more prepared to deal with your own symptoms. Finding a support group, either online or face to face, can also help.

ADHD apps may help you better organize your life so you feel less overwhelmed. These apps can prompt you to begin tasks, help structure your thoughts, meet important deadlines, and stay focused.

Making an ADHD app part of your daily routine could keep you on track with tasks and help with your medication and treatment schedules.


Amanda Doyle is a Boston-based healthcare editor, former dance fitness instructor, and previous neuroscience researcher. She’s passionate about equity, kindness, conscious language, and destigmatizing the human experience.